Machiavelli, Keys to a Changing Political View

A look at Nicolo Machiavelli’s famous treatise on politics, The Prince, as a reflection of the times he lived in.

The paper shows that Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, written in 1513, gives us an insight to Italian Renaissance politics and culture at the time. It shows how Machiavelli’s work reflects a changing attitude, where a person had more choice in determining his station in life by his own actions. A peasant could now work through the ranks to become an elite, an act that had not previously been possible in the Dark Ages.
The Italian Renaissance shows that people are no longer willing to act like sheep and rulers no longer rule by keeping the common people ignorant. Machiavelli points out that even in times of peace, the prince should study the arts of war, what enables you to acquire a state is to be master of the art (Machiavelli, Marriott trans.). He suggests drilling at every opportunity. The Prince should familiarize himself with the cartography of their own land, as well as to learn as much about other countries as possible. We must remember that Machiavelli lived in the age of the great explorers, including the Dutch and Portuguese. This reflects the Renaissance attitude and a thirst for knowledge. Ignorance is abhorred in this society and ignorance by rulers is simply not tolerated.